Recent advances in molecular biology of thyroid cancer and their clinical implications

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2008 Dec;41(6):1135-46, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2008.07.001.


Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy. With a rapidly rising incidence in recent years, novel efficient management strategies are increasingly needed for this cancer. Remarkable advances have occurred in understanding several major biologic areas of thyroid cancer, including the molecular alterations for the loss of radioiodine avidity of thyroid cancer, the pathogenic role of the MAP kinase and PI3K/Akt pathways and their related genetic alterations, and the aberrant methylation of functionally important genes in thyroid tumorigenesis and pathogenesis. These exciting advances provide unprecedented opportunities for the development of molecular-based novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Methylation / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism


  • BRAF protein, human
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases